Why cats bite? I am sure that everyone experienced that not pleasant bite of your furry friend. However, why they do that and what it means for them? Let us analyze this article.
Why cats bite?
Before we continue with this, we should clarify some terms and facts about it. First, it is not a “dog kind of bite” where you may get some severe injuries. Cat bite because of many reasons, and mostly all of them are related to happiness. So yes, in other words, you should be happy if your cat bites you.
Almost every cat owner experienced that situation where your furry friend lay near you. You put your hand on the cat's coat, make a cat cuddle with your hand and after a while – boom! Here comest the bite. And another one. And another one! As I said before, it is not a hard and excruciating bite, which can cause some serious injury. It is a bite just to let you know “I have sharp teeth.” Moreover, why hack they doing that?
Why cats bite when they are happy?
Let us analyze this from a different angle. Cats are natural-born predators. They hunt to survive. They know how to hide, how to walk without making any sound. Moreover, in the final step, they catch their prey with – bite. However, living with humans changes how they live and get food over time, but that predator instinct remains. So it is only essential to understand that a sudden, unprovoked bite you may get from your cat is not an act of aggression. It considers as a love bite.
So let us try to learn why cats bite and let us try to find the way how to stop any unwanted bites.
As I mentioned before, there are so many reasons why cats might bite. As they cannot talk, the bite is, in easy words, one of the ways how a cat is trying to communicate with you. However, what they want to tell us with bites?
Well, there are only two things that bite means. First, they are trying to send you some message, which is a cute bite, or they are trying to warn you to stop doing what you are doing right now. Now it is up to you to understand which of these two situations are you. If you playing with your cat with some toy, stroke, paper, and cat run around it, and just in the next moment, they jump to you and let you feel their teeth – you are the lucky one. We all know they will not cause you any injury, they just told you: where have you been all my life! It is just what I like!
However, in another case, if you are holding a kitten, that is something that they do not like much. And cats will bite you to tell you: leave me alone and don't you ever again hold me like that.
Cat biting when purring
How many times did you experience this? You lay on the bed or sit on the sofa, and your cat lays near you. What will you do? Of course, you will be petting a cat, and after a while, that purr engine will start to work and produce a lovely sound. But in one moment, BOOM! Your cat suddenly changes its attitude. After enjoying spending time near you, they will turn into wild hunters, and in less than a second, you will feel teets on your finger or hand.
Moreover, many owners make common mistakes here in the following steps. First, no, your cat is not unthankful. Your cat does not know how to tell you, hey mate, it is enough; please do not do it anymore. A cat will bite you, and that bite means precisely that. Many cat owners then move the cat away instead remove their hands. However, as you can see, it is such a simple communication from cat to you. Message understand, lay here, but I will not touch you as requested – that is it. So easy.
But why cats bite when playing.
Well, this is even easier to understand. For cats playing is not the same thing as you. You remember that many times mentioned sentence “cat play with mouse”. So translated from a cats perspective, playing is hunting time for cats. So if you get a cat bite while playing together, that means that cats express just natural hunting instincts and do not have any bad intentions to hurt you. Lucky there is a way how you can prevent bites. It would help if you taught your cat what an acceptable way of playing is. Moreover, it would help if you did it like this. When they play with you, and it engages only paws, you will give them some award, as a small snack they love.
When you see in their body language that they prepare claws or want to bite, give them some toys. In this way, you will separate what is allowed while they play with you, followed by the award and what is for claws and bites only. It is not a one-time lesson, and you will need to repeat it until your cat learns it.
Why cats bite aggressively
Almost all aggressive cat behaviours have similar reasons. Cat is not socialized, or cat suffers some trauma. One way or another, if you adopt that kind of cat, you have to learn what is acceptable behaviour and what is not good behaviour. Cats defend their territory, so if the cat comes from the street – aggressive behaviour is logical but unacceptable. This type of cat will act more instinctively, which means it will take some time to turn them into peaceful pets as they are hunters. You have to understand that cats from shelters and streets suffer some trauma, expressing their frustrations through aggressive behaviour. You will need to build relationships with a cat over food first and then slowly switch on playing. Unfortunately, this process can be very long. Moreover, you can fail very quickly as you have to reprogram cat personality, which is not easy.
You must understand that aggressive behaviour is a self-defence reaction, and you dealing with an outdoor cat that probably encounters some abuse and is frightened. A lot of love, patience and hard work will always produce the desired result.
Few words about litter and kittens
When a female cat has a litter, her body changes hormones that directly impact behaviour. In other words, your lovely playful cat can turn into a warrior who defends her family. Furthermore, that is normal. No matter how your cat is socialized, this happens sometimes. Cats are very protective of their kittens, and even they are not aggressive, if you hold their little ones, they will follow you with eye contact all the time until you return them safely.
They do not say, without reason, when a cat has a litter, give her space.
Kitten phase coming together with bites. So all little edges you can get from kittens are usual. They explore and communicate with the environment using their mouth. As kittens grow, you invest your time to teach them the difference between playing and hunting. And at the end, that will result in beautiful playful furry creatures we all adore.
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